We always knew we were going to Soup P when dad grabbed his fanny pack and lined it with napkins. At the end of the meal, before leaving, we knew the kids responsibilities were to make rotating rounds to the muffin bar. Upon return, dad would then stuff them into his fanny pack (As a buffet, Soup P did not allow “to-go” items. Child me always feel like a successful thief pulling the concealed muffin from my pocket and stuffing it in your face as walked out the door? See you next Tyme suckers!). The muffins would be treats that were devoured once inside the movie theater or saved for a late night snack at home. We saw Soup P go through phases. Some that took hold and some that did not. Soup P brunch where trays of egg, bacon, yogurt and cereal never ceased to end. Fresh cookies brought to the table (now you can only get them to go), carpet removed, replaced by wooden flooring and the decision to allow a “to-go” option during lunch! We saw it all baby!
When I told people I LOVED Soup P, they always seemed surprised. As a child, teen, young adult, and now a 37 year old man I frequented the Soup hitting it hard between the mid 90’s – present day. It was a spot to meet up with friends. Its departure has been the topic of many Zoom calls during quarantine. We grieve, we share our memories. We saw each other grow from teens to adults now taking our own children. When my dad used to pick us up for his weekends following my parents divorce, we stopped at Soup P followed by a walk in the neighborhood. I grew to know the employees at locations throughout Southern California. Brea, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Rancho, Pasadena, Alhambra, Valencia, San Diego, this list goes on. Even when I moved away from home and was living in Chicago, I located a Sweet Tomato’s in Waukegan, IL. I got in my car and made the hour drive to see how the Midwest version fared. I was not disappointed
Thank you Soup P. for the many meals shared over the last 3 decades with my friends, family, and coworkers. Thank you to all the employees who we grew to know as the backbone of Soup P. My last meal there was Feb of this year. It was nearing closing time, 8:30 –ish and the gentle giant of a man at the Alhambra location raised his voice to get everyones attention. In my mind I thought he was announcing last call which seemed odd. Instead, he announced it was the birthday of one of the diners and requested every diner to join along in singing Happy Birthday. Without thinking twice, a count down and then in unison we all took a break from our baked potatoes, focaccia bread, soft serve, and strawberry lemonades and sang loudly! A great final memory for a legendary, iconic Southern California restaurant.
Tyme it was and what a tyme it was.